The song “Catcher in the Rye” by Guns N Roses reveals a unique parallel to the novel by J.D. Salinger. The opening lyrics of the song capture one theme of the novel through the eyes of Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist. The theme of preservation of youth and innocence manifests itself in certain parts of the song. The lyrics “that’s what the old folks say, but every time I’d see them, makes me wish I had a gun,” conveys the idea of thriving on innocence and not paying heed to the words of the ‘older folk’. Such images are present in lyrics throughout this song, forming a connection with the novel. Though the lyrics were not intended to form a direct congruence with the novel itself, they could be changed to more closely relate to the themes present in the novel, including the pain in aging and the idea of isolation for self-preservation.
This song explicitly connects to the theme and plot of the novel. The lyrics express a few of the major sentiments present in the novel as well as implicitly making references to the ducks in the wintertime and the kings lined up in the back row, which Holden associates with Jane’s checker game. The song captures the narrative and connects with Holden’s life through his tale in New York City, taking the long way back home. This slideshow presentation makes a visual connection to the narrative present in Salinger’s novel, and is set to the song “Holden Caufield” by Piebald.
Another Lonely Day by Ben Harper
In the song Another Lonely Day by Ben Harper, the first verse describes Holden Caulfield perfectly. When Ben Harper says that he is alone again and the emptiness is crashing in, it is exactly how Holden feels about Allie. It is evident that Holden adored Allie very much and his dying at such a young age visibly upsets Holden. Holden feels as though Allie wasn’t given a chance to live the life that he was supposed to. Later in the song, Ben Harper says “Cause the one I love today I hardly know you I held so close in my heart oh dear grow further from me.” This describes Holden’s feelings regarding his love for Jane. Unfortunately, he is forced to leave the school and does not have a chance to see her. Holden’s reaction when Stradlater talks about Jane make it clear that he has very strong feelings for her. Ben Harper’s lyrics also relate to Holden’s unmet desires. He says, “Wish there was something I could say or do I can resist anything But temptation from you But I’d rather walk alone than chase you around.” Holden demonstrates his love for Jane through his thoughts but not through his actions. So far in what I have read, Holden has not gone after Jane. He had a few nights left at Pencey Prep and could possibly find her yet he ventures to New York City. Holden is very isolated and keeps his feelings and emotions inside rather than releasing them.
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown
And I don’t know why…
All day staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night hearing voices telling me
That I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good for something